With a love for all things meaningful and creative, Caroline Abarca, owner of Goodness Gracious Ceramic Prints, offers sweet keepsakes for any occasion. By incorporating impressions of hands, feet and even paws, Abarca is able to preserve a moment in time with ceramics, offering personalized designs that can be enjoyed and displayed anywhere.
To learn more about her creations, we reached out to Abarca to discover how she creates timeless keepsakes with clay and paint.
1. Tell us about Goodness Gracious Ceramic Prints. What kind of business is it?
My name is Caroline Abarca, and I am the maker behind Goodness Gracious. I take impressions of children’s hands and feet in clay and turn them into ceramic keepsakes. A few products I offer are ornaments, ring dishes and custom plates—these include sibling, birthday and festive holiday plates. I also understand that pets are family, so I do paw prints, too!
2. What inspired you to start Goodness Gracious Ceramic Prints?
I’ve always been a sentimental person, and there’s nothing like having children to open your eyes to how quickly time is passing! I wanted to find a tangible way to preserve this precious season of our lives—something that we can hold and look back on to see how small they once were and how much they’ve grown. I started playing around with making impressions of their hands and feet and then started practicing on friends and family. The rest, as they say, is history!
3. What is your professional background? How did you get your start?
I don’t have an art or ceramic background, but I’ve always wanted to do something creative, I just didn’t know what that would be! When I started in ceramics, I knew absolutely nothing and learned as I went. There was quite a learning curve and so much of it is trial and error. I’m in a good groove right now but still feel like I learn something new constantly!
4. What has influenced your work?
I’m really inspired by traditional, timeless interiors. When I started making the keepsakes, it was really important to me that everything complement the décor style that I love and that people would be proud to display them in their homes.
5. Which of your designs are your favorite and why?
This is a hard question because I love them all, but I would say my everyday impression plate with the floral or leaf border. I think they are such a beautiful addition to a gallery wall, bookshelf or child’s room. They were also the first products I made and what started it all, so that makes them pretty special to me!
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6. What are your best-selling products right now?
This holiday season, the best sellers have been Cookies for Santa plates, ornaments and sibling plates. There are going to be a lot of happy grandparents this Christmas when they open these precious gifts!
7. Tell us about your process and how it all works.
I take appointments in my Prairieville studio and this is where the impressions are done. It usually takes around half an hour, with most of that time spent narrowing down design choices. After that, I begin working on your order. Each step is done by hand, by me. From start to finish, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete. It’s a complete labor of love but so worth it in the end!
8. What is one thing you would like people to know about Goodness Gracious Ceramic Prints that they might not be aware of?
That I love when a customer has their own creative ideas on making a keepsake their own based on family traditions. I’ve had some pretty creative and sentimental requests so far! It’s a great feeling knowing I’m making something that will become a family heirloom.
Absolutely. I have many of my children that I’ll cherish forever, with the most priceless one being a plate that includes my children and our two dogs. I’m so glad I have it because our dog Coco passed away in May. She was such a part of our family for so long (15 years!), that having a reminder of her in our home still makes me smile.
10. What’s next for Goodness Gracious? Any new products in the works?
Yes! I’ve already started making some adorable Easter keepsakes—carrots for the Easter Bunny plates, as well as personalized eggs for Easter baskets and décor. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook to keep up!